Ruth Lilly

Ruth Lilly, one of the most generous arts patrons of her time, cared deeply about the arts in her community, and the future of the arts in America. She gave enthusiastically and frequently to the arts and artists in her home state of Indiana, as well as to many national arts programs.

Throughout much of her philanthropy, she demonstrated vision beyond her time and an ardent belief in the power of possibility. Ms. Lilly hoped to make a major impact on the arts of our nation, and in 2002 entrusted that vision to the work of Americans for the Arts with an unprecedented gift of $120 million. Today, her investment yields tangible benefits each day through many of the services and research programs that Americans for the Arts offers.

It takes a leap of faith to believe that a nation can realize the dream of an arts education for every child. It takes vision to see the possibilities of arts leaders in communities throughout the nation working side by side with private and public sector leaders to resolve serious social and economic issues. It takes wisdom to understand that supporting the arts is an investment in the vitality of our communities and the very core of the humanity of a nation.

To this day, we are still inspired by Ruth Lilly’s generosity and her incredible gift. Because of her faith in an organization dedicated to the vitality of the arts nationwide, the future holds even greater promise for the arts, artists, and citizens who enjoy lives enriched in countless ways.